On Sunday, May 6, the parish of St. Joseph in Quincy came together to bless a new rosary garden on the church's grounds. A newly crowned statue of Mary stands in the center, surrounded by vibrantly colored tulips and hydrangeas. Lining the garden, in the shape of the rosary, are square granite slabs that create a walking path.
This garden would not have been possible if not for the hard work and planning of Joe Desmond.
Desmond is a parishioner at St. Joseph's and a member of the Boys Scouts of America. This year he is up for receiving his Eagle Scout badge, which requires successfully completing a community service project. He came up with the idea to clear out an overgrown and run down garden and create a welcoming space for prayer.
Speaking with The Pilot, Joe Desmond's mother, Xhaklina Desmond, described the process of deciding upon this particular project.
"He explored a lot of other projects, but they didn't seem to be as fulfilling," she said.
Desmond got the idea to create a rosary garden from his uncle, who built a chapel and rosary pathway in Vermont. Once he recieved the approval from his parish priest to revitalize the church's garden, he set to work making plans and designs.
Desmond readily admitted that he had lots of support and assistance from his fellow troop members and parishioners at St. Joseph's Parish, including from a fellow parishioner's son who happened to be a landscape architect.
He also contacted various supply companies to see if they would be willing to donate supplies for his project.
He said, "We got a lot of free supplies, (from) TLC Landscaping, we needed granite so we went to them and it turns out one of the people there was a parishioner here (St. Joseph's) so he gave us all this spare granite."
Various other local businesses donated tools and materials for the garden, as well. Anything that wasn't donated was paid for by money that Desmond raised by selling candy bars at the church.
After the fundraising and acquiring supplies, it was time for a lot of hard work and hours spent clearing, planting, cutting granite, moving gravel and taking care of other tasks.
"The most rewarding thing was seeing the project come together," Desmond said.
When asked why he chose to do his Eagle Scout project at St. Joseph's he said, "I love the parish. I wanted to do something to help it out and do whatever I could. I had other ideas as well, but I figured this was the best one."